I was reading this article on How To Be A Good Housewife, and what got my attention was the fact that Mexican women are encouraged to become housewives, because the Bible says so, and Mexico is very Catholic. It also suggests that Proverbs and Song of Songs support the existence of housewives and their important place in the world. Now, if there have been biblical verses that have been used to justify housewives, have there also been biblical verses that have been used to inspire women to work outside the home?
Proverbs 31:10-31 is a famous passage on The Virtuous Woman. In addition to taking care of her family, the passage describes a woman who contributes financially to her household.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
I couldn't say it for certain but I imagine the book of Ruth could justify women working.
In the book of Ruth, after Naomi returned with Ruth to her homeland, Ruth gleaned from the fields. (See Ruth Chapt 2).
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.